LeBron putting pressure on Lakers to trade for Kawhi Leonard
28 June, 2018, 06:27 | Author: Ellis Copeland
The Lakers were long seen as a destination this summer for James and Paul George, but it no longer seems to be a sure bet that George opts out of his contract with the Thunder by Friday.
James is reportedly "hesitant" to be the first to commit to the Lakers once the National Basketball Association free agency dominoes begin, but having Leonard on board could make his decision easier.
According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne, and Brian Windhorst, there is mounting pressure for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Leonard before free agency starts on July 1.
Completing a trade with the Spurs at all, let alone before the weekend, could be tricky for the Lakers.
The team at the top of Leonard's list is reportedly the Los Angeles Lakers. Butler had two when he was dealt about a week prior to George.
A Western Conference source with an interest in the proceedings told the Herald the Spurs did have a brief discussion with the Celts today, but there was no real negotiation.
On Tuesday, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson laughed off the idea of being anxious about the pressure to bring superstars to Los Angeles, citing the number of NBA Finals he played in.
What exactly would that offer be?
While Leonard is intent on playing for the Lakers, ESPN recently reported that the Lakers "did not have a good initial conversation with the Spurs". They could include restricted free agent Marcus Smart in a sign-and-trade with Smart's consent, as well.
Last week, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports reported (via RealGM) that the Spurs aren't interested in Ball because of the "circus" that comes with the 20-year-old.
My favorite part in this soap opera is that Gregg Popovich is doing everything he can to stiff-arm the Lakers.
The Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly made offers for Leonard. The executive pointed out a similar dynamic played out "in Cleveland four years ago", when James very publicly declared he would leave the Heat for the Cavs, after which the latter team made a blockbuster trade for Kevin Love.
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